Friday, September 28, 2012

Joyful Acceptance

Hello, long lost blog friends!  I am ashamed to say that I have 206 unread items in Google Reader.  I'd like to just be one of those people who can click "Mark all as read" and move on with my life.  But alas, I am too afraid I will miss a big announcement or something, so I have plans to try to catch up on my blog reading and commenting at some point this weekend.  

Now onto the topic at hand today: joyful acceptance.

A couple Sundays ago, our pastor did a sermon entitled: "Confined, But Contented and Highly Effective."  It was one of those Sundays where the sermon just related too perfectly to everything I was going through, and I knew it wasn't a coincidence.

Here are some one-liners from the bulletin insert that hit home for me:

Life is not about what happens to you BUT it is about how you respond to what happens to you.

Attitude of joyful acceptance:

-God uses adversity to advance His cause.  (Philippians 1:12 "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel").

-God's people don't whine, they shine. (Philippians 2:14-15 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.' Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky").

I filed the bulletin away after church, wanting to study it more, and let it really permeate my mind in the coming weeks.


Then this week, I began Beth Moore's Bible study on James.  James is one of my favorite books of the Bible because I am so convicted every time I read it.  When I think back on the big chapters and challenges in my life, I usually had scripture that I used as my mantra during those times.  During my current challenge of infertility, James has been it.  I read and outlined the book one afternoon over two years ago, because I felt God calling me to find comfort in those pages.  I specifically made chapter 1 verses 2-4 my own, and would say them over and over to myself on the really difficult days. ("Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.") I wrote a whole blog post about those verses here on July 8, 2010.  I can't read that post without crying.  Not because I'm sad, but because I see all that God has done since the day I wrote that; all because of that one storm that has been raging on to this day.

Anyway, even though I knew I'd be busy with school, when I heard our church was doing Beth Moore's study on James, I knew that wasn't a coincidence either.  I had to sign up.

It has been amazing so far.  Yesterday our study was about James 1:2-4.  I was so blessed in reading those pages!  What struck me the most was when Beth Moore wrote, "Trials don't get to steal from followers of Christ unless we hand over the goods. In fact, they're commanded to give goods to us if we're willing to receive them. Robbers or reapers, it's up to us."

There it is, laid out in black and white: it is our choice.  Our trials don't have to steal our joy!  In fact, they should give us joy, if we let them!

Being reminded of that makes me feel a little uncomfortable.  It makes me think of all those times when I've felt bitter, angry, jealous, frustrated, or even mad at God.  Because I know that I can't blame my circumstances for feeling that way.  I have to blame myself.

Going back to my sermon insert that I quoted earlier, "Life is not about what happens to you, but it is about how you respond to what happens to you."

Also, "God uses adversity to advance His cause."  When I read those words a few weeks ago on that Sunday morning,  I had to think.  Yes, I have been facing what I consider to be adversity in the past 2+ years.  Yes, I am at least trying to find the joy in those circumstances.  But have they been used to advance God's cause?

It really made me think.  How many people do I even come in contact with every day of my life?  I have my friends, family, and acquaintances from work, school, or church, and strangers.  I try to show the love of God, but I always feel like there's only so much I can do.

As I thought more about it, I realized that my biggest ministry is my blog.  I know my blog is certainly not big by any means, but the number of people who read my blog everyday is usually higher than the number of people I come in contact with, face-to-face in the same day.

Then this little question popped into my head: what if I had never started my blog almost four years ago?  Would God have chosen me to go through this fertility struggle if there weren't so many women whom I could share my story and His love with?

I'm not saying that I would or wouldn't be, but for a split second I wished that I didn't have a blog and my own tiny ministry.  I wished that I had a baby or maybe even two by now, and that no one had ever read the words I'd written.

But then I remembered a day in December of 2010.  I was taking a shower (why do most epiphanies happen in the shower?  Or is that just me?)  and I remember telling God that I wanted to face this trial head on, and let Him use it.  I wrote this post that morning, and wrote this in the last line of that post: "I challenge you today, whatever you are going through, to face it.  Trudge forward and choose to go through the flames.  He will use them to refine you, strengthen your faith, and bring glory to Him!"  I wrote those words, because that is exactly what I was choosing that morning.

So ultimately, after my selfish wish of never going through this trial, and never sharing my story, I remembered that I am His, and I want Him to use my life.  I will go through this trial, it will bring me joy and it will advance His cause!

...and today I can say that it is bringing me joy.  I feel like I've written the post a million times where I say how different my life would have been these past couple of years if things had happened differently.  The post where I say that God's plan is better than my plan.  But I say it again today, because it is so true!!!!

Yes, that warranted four exclamation points!

I pray that you will choose joy in your trials!  I pray that you will accept all that God has for you, joyfully!  And I pray that you would feel His love and peace in your heart today!

Friday, September 21, 2012

High Five for Friday


1. I'm still obsessed with this cute candle holder that my mom got me from Bath and Body works.

2. Apparently it put me on an owl kick, because I found these at Walmart for $1, and I couldn't resist.

3. I had a neuro quiz on Tuesday that I studied all weekend for. I am such a nerd, because I really didn't mind spending my weekend at home doing that.  (Luke was at the Ohio State game).  Ellie kept me company.  I posted this picture on facebook, and someone from school saw it and said, "you study so pretty!"  Haha...Truth: I have to use bright pens and notecards and pretty folders or else I would get bored too easily.  Also?  I am obsessed with office and school supplies.

4. I'm loving having quick easy access to Starbucks.  I only let  myself indulge on Tuesdays, because it's my longest day, and I literally probably wouldn't make it through my last two classes awake without it.  I switched it up this week and ordered a salted caramel mocha instead of my standard fall-time pumpkin spice latte.  It was pretty good, but certainly no psl.  I will stick to my standard this Tuesday!

5. This.  Say what you want about Ohio, but oh my word is it beautiful this time of year!  Just take a look at those clouds!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week in Review

It's back!  In an effort to blog a little more often, I've decided to start writing "week in review" posts again.  They're basically quick and easy to write, and it will give me a reminder of these crazy grad school days.  Also, these are my favorite posts to go back and read later on, because they contain so many fun memories of our everyday lives.

Highlights from last week:

*I spent most of the day on Sunday getting ready for the week ahead of me.  This included gathering up and printing out materials for lesson plans, and going shopping for some business casual clothes for clinicals.  Having an excuse to buy clothes is always fun!  I also raided the back-to-school bins at Walmart which contained tons of $.50 gems that I could use for therapy! (stickers, card games, etc).   I also stocked up on some fall candles, because why not?

*We spent Sunday night at Luke's grandparents' house, celebrating his grandpa's birthday.  We all spent most of the evening playing with baby Lilly.

*Mondays are going to be my fullest, most stressful days, unfortunately.  I spent it at a clinical placement all morning, eating a hurried lunch in the car on the drive from one place to another, and then clinicals at another placement in the afternoon.  I'm honestly glad my most overwhelming day is the first day of the week, so I can get it over with!

*Tuesday is my longest day of classes, and I got a text right before my second class from my mother-in-law saying that she made broccoli cheese soup, and was going to drop some off at our house, so I didn't have to make dinner that night!  I appreciated it so much!  It was a huge highlight of my week.

*Later Tuesday night, my mom dropped off a little gift for me, just because.  Tuesday was the day for surprises, I guess!  It is so cute, and I love it!

*Thursday between classes my sister and I met for lunch.  We went to a Thai restaurant, and it was so nice to eat a warm lunch and catch up with her.  It made my day go by so much faster, too.

*I spent Friday at a workshop for children with hearing impairments.  I thought it was pretty interesting, and I also get extra credit for going! win-win.  I know this is going to mark the first of many workshops in the next 30 or so years! 

*On Saturday, Luke went to the Ohio State game again, so I hung out at home alone all day.  I made some coffee, turned on Revenge in the background, wore jeans and a comfy sweatshirt, and made neuro flashcards all day.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it.  And Ellie was feeling a little attention starved, so she sat on my lap for most of the afternoon.  It just felt like fall, and I loved it. 

Speaking of fall...oh my word.  Is the sky ever more beautiful than it is during the fall?  I really enjoyed it this week.

I cannot believe it's Sunday, and a new week is beginning already!  Where did the weekend go?  Let the craziness begin again...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Life continues to be crazy, but I thought I'd try to squeeze in at least one midweek post.  So her are some totally random confessions on a Wednesday...

1. When "Call Me, Maybe" comes on my Pandora station, sometimes I don't hit the skip button.

2. I don't hate the seven hours I spend every week commuting to class and clinicals.  Mostly because it gives me the chance to sing at the top of my lungs in the car and pretend I'm Adele.  (Even though I try not to actually sing like her.  The future SLP in me cringes every time I hear her voice, because I can't imagine the damage she's doing to it with that tense, raspy-ness).

3. I'm going to break the bank on fall candles and pumpkin spice lattes.  Sorry, husband.

4. I am a future speech pathologist, and I form my Rs in a weird way.  While working with an articulation group this morning, I kept telling one student to pull the tip of his tongue up.  My supervisor suggested he try it with his tongue lowered.  Whaa....?  I thought everyone formed their Rs with their tongue tip up...?  But according to my supervisor, I guess I am actually in the minority...?  You learn something new every day.  I can't even say the sound without having my tongue curled with my tongue tip straight up.  Mind = blown.  Do you say your Rs with your tongue tip up or down?

5.  I am a nerd for caring that much about Rs.

6.  I need to stay off of Facebook until November 7.

7. My sister and I are going out for Thai food for lunch tomorrow, and this will be the highlight of my day.  Just to escape the dungeon for awhile will be great.  I call the building where all my classes are "the dungeon" because there are no windows in most of my classrooms, and the grad room (where I spend most of my break time) is kind of dark and dreary and there are no windows in there either.  Once the time changes I may literally go through my Tuesdays without seeing the sun except for about an hour in one classroom that actually has a little window in the front of the room. Talk about depressing! (...and talk about run-on sentences!)

8. As much as I'm loving grad school, I still sometimes mourn the fact that I'm doing this instead of the whole mom thing.  Being content is a daily battle. 

9. I miss having time to blog regularly.  I hope you all don't give up on me!  I know I have been a poor commenter, but I'm still reading all your posts when I have time!  I am going to try to be better at commenting too. And I haven't even checked my blog email in about a week, so if you've emailed me, don't think I'm ignoring you!  

I think that's enough babbling for one evening!  Hopefully I'll be back on Friday to share my H54F!

Friday, September 7, 2012

High Five for Friday

I can't tell you guys how tired and busy I've been in the past four days!  I spend two full days in classes a week, about 12 hours a week in either clinic or at the school where I'm doing clinicals, I spend approximately 7 hours a week driving, and during my spare time I'm busy reading, studying, making flash cards, and now writing lesson plans.  To top it all off, all of my awesome clinic supervisors (it sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but I'm really not, they are amazing) have given me lots of supplemental materials and books to study.  Like I said last week, I am loving every minute of it.  It's not like undergrad or even last year, when I just tried to get by with an A.  It's very different, because this is knowledge and these are skills that I will definitely be using in less than two years, and I want to soak in every piece of knowledge and wisdom I possibly can before I'm thrown out on my own!  So anyway, it's going great; I'm overwhelmed and very busy; and blogging will probably be sporadic at best in the next two years, unless I somehow find out how to  magically make more hours appear in my day!

Luckily, Fridays are my free days!!  Yay!  So today I thought I'd link up with Lauren again after skipping a few weeks:


1. I dug some of my fall stuff out of the basement last weekend.  These things make me so happy!  Now I just need to work on the front porch.

2. Pumpkin spice lattes are back!  I had my first one on Tuesday at school.  'Tis the season! I think there were new people working at that Starbucks, because they were super slow, and my PSL was way too sweet.  It made me super sad, because normally they are perfect. Ha!  Better luck next time, I guess!

3. Just in case you're new around here, and you're not sure if I'm a nerd, here's your proof.  We get extra credit in my Acquired Brain Injury class for coloring about 20 pages in our human brain coloring books. Every time I sit down to watch TV I work on a few pages.  It is the best!  ...because I love neuro, and I love coloring.  

4. Premiere week is coming up!  I've been catching up on the last season of all my favorite shows while I make flash cards or do homework.  (Is it weird that I need that background noise in order to focus?  It seems like it should be the other way around).  I'm currently working through season 1 of Revenge. It's on Netflix!  Do you watch that show?  I'm excited for that and HIMYM, New Girl, Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Rec, and Big Bang Theory.  What premieres are you most looking forward to?

5. On our first day of orientation, our clinic supervisor told us that it's unprofessional to use your phone to find out the time.  Oops, that's what I've been doing for at least 4 years.  So this week I went on a mission to find a watch that I wasn't going to have to pay much for.  I found this one for $12.88 and I actually think it's really cute!  So now I can be professional and use my watch during class and clinicals.  Mission accomplished. 

Happy Friday!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life is Good.

I'm not much of a Saturday blogger, but I am overwhelmed with Thankfulness this morning, and my heart is overflowing with the realization that life is so good.

I was up until 2 AM last night, pinning therapy ideas and reading SLP blogs.  I begin therapy on about 11 kiddos next week!  The first two weeks my supervisor will write lesson plans for me, but after that I'm on my own.  Am I nervous?  A bit.  But mostly I'm excited.  I had so much fun scanning through the students' goals and then finding fun therapy activities to use to address them.  I couldn't pull myself away!  I am so thankful for the enthusiasm that God has placed in my heart for this field.  I honestly never felt this way during my undergrad education classes, and I always felt apprehensive and doubtful.  I kept that secret for years, and felt very ashamed of it.  But God is using it all for His plan, and it's amazing to see that plan coming to fruition!

...And then I woke up late this morning, with my little baby Ellie snuggling close to me.  I lazily got up and spent some more time on Pinterest, and then had some coffee and blog-reading time.  All while The Ohio State Marching band rang from our living rooms speakers.  It is game day and we are getting ready!

Later, I'm going to dig through the piles in the basement to find all of my fall decorations.  It's September 1, and that means it's time to decorate!  I'm going to do that while Luke watches the game.

And we still have three days of the weekend left!  Days that will be filled with relaxing, fall scented candles, parties, friends, and probably homework too.

To top it all off, there is a dishwasher sitting in the middle of my kitchen, waiting to be installed!  Luke used some bonus  money to buy it, and surprised me with it.  He said, "I think you deserve it, and we need it because we will both be so busy...."  "You deserve it...."  Those words meant as much to me as the dishwasher itself!  I am lucky to have such a thoughtful husband who loves to surprise me!  And my life just got so much easier with one kitchen appliance.

Sometimes I have a moment when God opens my eyes and lets me see how beautiful everything is.  And I'm having one of those right now.  My prayer is that He would do the same for you today!